Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite days at the Monastery. Everyone gathers on Thanksgiving morning to make a celebratory meal together. It is wonderful to do this within the privileged environment. Working silently with everyone you love to transform food into a meal of thanksgiving with no ego intervention! What could be better?
One dish that shows up at every Thanksgiving feast is mushroom gravy.
1/3 cup onion, chopped small
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbs. flour
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
- The first step is to toast the flour over medium heat in a dry, thick-bottomed pan or skillet (cast iron is ideal). To toast the flour, first heat up the pan, then add the flour and stir it constantly with a spatula or flat-edged wooden spoon until it lightly browns. This will not take long -- two to five minutes, depending on how hot the skillet is. It is easy for the flour to burn during this process; if it does you’ll have to start over, as this will impart an unpleasant flavor to the gravy. Any variation in the ratio between the flour and the soymilk will affect the consistency of the gravy, so it is important to measure both carefully. When the flour has browned, remove the skillet from the heat and continue stirring until the flour is no longer being cooked.
- Allow the flour to cool for at least five minutes and then whisk the soymilk and the flour together until the flour is dissolved.
- Meanwhile, sauté the onions in another thick-bottomed pan until they are well cooked. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they are done, as well.
- Whisk the flour/soymilk mixture together again to make sure the flour is well incorporated, and then pour it into the pot with the onions and mushrooms, scraping the sides of the pan to make sure you’ve got every bit.
- Bring it all to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The gravy will thicken as it comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to very low; add the seasonings and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. If the gravy is not served right away it will thicken more as it cooks, in which case you can simply add more soymilk to get the consistency you desire.
Yields 2 cups